If you are living with a long term condition you will know that sometimes managing day-to-day life is not easy. It is important that you have access to information and help that will enable you to better manage your life. This can build confidence as well as improve your health and wellbeing.
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What is self care?
What is self care?
Self care is the choices people make and the actions people take on their own behalf in the interest of maintaining their health and wellbeing. Care can be delivered by individuals, family, friends, carers, affinity groups and the wider community by themselves for themselves.
Self care can include staying fit and healthy, taking action to prevent illness and accidents, using medicines effectively and seeking professional help when necessary.
You can ask your health professional about self management or you can contact the Patient Advice and Liason Service on 08000 283693 to find out about what is available to you.
The right information for you, when you want it
Having a better understanding of your long term condition can positively affect your long term health and well being and help you to take action when needed.
NHS Choices www.nhs.uk provides information on many long term conditions in a variety of formats. Many local libraries have specially trained staff to help you find information about your local health service and show you the information on the NHS website.
Information prescriptions www.nottsinfoscript.co.uk are another more personal source of information. They give targeted information for people with long term conditions and their carers. They can include information about your condition, treatment available, care services, benefits advice and local support groups.
Also, information prescriptions for 18 long term conditions are available on NHS choices at www.nhs.uk/informationprescriptions.
Small changes to your lifestyle
Keeping fit and healthy can be a real challenge if you have a long term condition but changes such as losing weight, eating healthily, doing more exercise or stopping smoking can make a big difference to your well being.
Your GP and health care workers can help you look at your lifestyle and make a plan that is suitable for your condition and any treatment you are having. They will also be able to point you in the right direction of local services that can help you.
And further infromation on these external websites
Stop Smoking Notts
Weight concern know your alcohol limits
Change 4 life
Structured Courses that fit your needs
There are structured courses that can help you become more confident about taking care of your own health and wellbeing.
The Expert Patient Programme is a free six week course, provided by the NHS to help people living with long term conditions maintain their health and improve their quality of life. The courses are run locally by people who also live with a long term condition and can include advice on dealing with pain and tiredness, eating well, how to arrange an appointment with a doctor or other healthcare worker, how to cope with stress and other information. It is also an opportunity to share and learn from other people’s experiences.
Alternatively you may benefit from a course that is specific to the condition you are living with. These are often provided by health professionals and can be accessed through your GP or health professional.
Talk to other people about your condition
Support networks can play an important role in providing practical and emotional support, boost your confidence and help you learn more about your condition. Sometimes sharing your experiences with people in similar positions can make you feel better. There are a wide range of national and local patient led group. Self help Nottingham can help you find a group in your area. The telephone number is 0115 9111662.
www.healthalkonline.org/ is a website of patients talking about their experiences in their own words, sharing their diagnosis, treatment and tips on living with their illness.
Get the right kit
Having the right equipment adaptations or technology can help you live independently and stay healthy. The NHS or social services may be able to provide you with advice, equipment or adaptations to help you live independently. Find out more here www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/home/social_care/helpathome/occupationaltherapy.htm www.www.dlf.org.uk